Greenbuddies NewsUpdates from the world of renewable energy

Greenbuddies tips – October 2020 20.10.2020

Electrification project for Engie – Greenbuddies Charging selected for installation services

More than half a year ago we decided at Greenbuddies Charging to expand outside our typical target segment of corporate clients. We were approached by Engie EPS from Italy, which concluded a global framework contract for the supply of electrical installation services for end clients of the FCA Group, including Fiat, Jeep, electromobility support among global brands – basically all prominent players are trying to increase sales of their new electric models by offering additional service packages. In this case, FCA resellers will offer end customers the opportunity to purchase an additional services containing the installation of a specific model of charger from the ENGIE portfolio, supplied by their subsidiary EV Box. In practice, an authorized dealer will offer interested customers desired electric car from the FCA portfolio as well as the opportunity to supply and install a home charger. These are so-called “Wallboxes”, which are typically mounted on the wall in a garage at your home or in the underground parking lots of companies using electric fleets. If the client shows interest, the seller will fill in a basic questionnaire and, based on the information obtained and the electric car model selected, he or she will offer the customer specific type of charger. I would like to emphasize that the offer will be really wide – from the basic Plug & Play version called Easy Wallbox, which does not need professional installation and connects into an ordinary 230 V socket to 22 kW installed power chargers with smart charging control preventing overload breakdowns.
If the client agrees, his/her contact details will be handed over to a certified installation company, which – after going through a pre-check procedure to determine the condition of the electrical infrastructure at the installation site – shall dispatch a technician to carry out the installation itself. At first glance, it looks quite simple, but as you probably guess, it is by far not that trivial. The selected installation company must meet the strict requirements of Engie. Installation technicians must be professionally trained and certified for the installation of the relevant EV Box chargers, authorized Engie partners must based on signed SLA comply with stringent criteria for the timeliness and quality of services provided and, among other things, operate a customer service telephone line.
We are very pleased that Engie EPS has chosen Greenbuddies Charging as its exclusive authorized installation partner for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. To meet demanding requirements of our Italian partner, we chose to team up with our supplier Elexim from Kroměříž, which has over the past three years developed into a major supplier of chargers of various brands in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Its clients include major companies from various industries, including e.g. Škoda Auto.
We are currently finishing preparations for this business opportunity and are all looking forward to the official launch of new models of battery or hybrid cars from the FCA portfolio in both our markets. Who would not get tempted to test a brand new battery-powered “Cinquecento” from Fiat or the hybrid Renegade model from the legendary Jeep?
I would like wish our team as many smooth installations as possible and only happy customers!

 

Project Kemnath

Last month we successfully completed the project in Germany, near the Czech borders by the small town of Kemnath. It was an opportunity to get familiar with MKG substructure on a smaller system of 1,26 MW – and it went really well, the whole project finishing a few days ahead of schedule.
The construction was very well prepared by the client so it wasn’t problematic for us to comply with all the deadlines, which were however quite strict – according to the schedule we were supposed to finish on Saturday and already on Monday commissioning of the first electric part on the DC site was scheduled. Thanks to finishing our work a couple days in advance, all participants were satisfied.
The construction which was used for this project was provided by the manufacturer MKG that has years of experience with construction of solar parks and their construction expertise is proven by the years of its functional use. And so despite the fact that it was our first park with this very specific type of construction from MKG, there was no problem with its completion. Apart from very detailed documentation, the manufacturer also provided their representatives who were very helpful during the first days of the work.
The location where the power plant is located is covered by forest in the north and facing the sun in the south – this allows the maximization of the energy yield. Soil was very soft. This meant the advantage for ramming, which proceeded quite fast, however we needed to minimize the power on the ramming machine not to ramm the piles too deep. On the other hand we didn’t underestimate the preparation and in anticipation of rainy weather, we had prepared the chain machinery, which is absolutely necessary on slippery and muddy terrain.
Above all precise ramming is crucial to a ground-mounted project . Therefore we were personally present during this phase and we were supervising the quality of the work being carried out. Once the mounting of the substructure started, everything went very smoothly. To satisfy the wish of the client and to make sure we would finish within the given time by the end of the construction phase we sent in almost 3 times more workers than had been present during the first days. Thanks to our ability to scale up the workforce when needed and our skills and experience with completion of solar parks, we handed over the powerplant several days before the planned handover date.
Thanks to the happiness of the client with our work we are currently carrying out2 considerably bigger projects for the client.

 

Presenting a new member of GB team

Jorrit Groen

We are getting more and more involved into the Dutch market: this market is a key market for Greenbuddies since solar is increasing in popularity and strongly subsidized. Therefore it proved we need to have excellent people on ground in Holland to get close on new opportunities . From October this year Jorrit Groen joined the team. He is coming from Solar industry and we believe that he will push our achievements on Dutch, Belgian and Luxemburg markets further.

Aleš Spáčil: Jorrit, may I ask you several questions?
1)
What is the main difference between working for a Dutch company and working for a foreign company?
Jorrit Groen (JG):
Well, since the corona outbreak there is actually no difference, we all work at home. But of course there is the language and cultural difference. Working abroad and working for an foreign company is not new to me. I’ve always liked working with different cultures.
2) What would you do for living if there were no renewable energies?
JG:
I’d probably be selling software solutions. I like to sell ‘solutions’ and I like software. But I’d might also still be on Borneo working for a NGO saving the sea and all what’s in it. I’ve been doing that for a month on a small island close to Borneo, restoring and creating artificial coral reefs. (scubadiving is one of my favourite hobby’s)
3) Who are your models in doing Sales; can you name some “gurus”, maybe even globally?
JG:
1. Simon Sinek. Famous for his vision on ‘why’, golden circle ‘why, how, what‘. (also great for your personal life)
2. Jim Collins. Famous for his bestseller: “Good to Great!“
3. Of course Napoleon Hill: “ Think and grow rich”. Everybody should read that and find out what the meaning of ‘rich’ is.
4) You are travelling a lot for work, what is your most favourite location elsewhere and in particular in the Benelux countries?
JG:
Of course I’d love to say Prague. 😊 But, my last visit to you guys was so short, and was my first so I need to get a full experience with Prague first, I hope soon. In Benelux I like Bruges and all bigger cities near coast since I really love kitesurfing, the bigger the waves the better.
5) Who, from environment around you is helping most in your mission?
JG:
Oeh, tough one, to be honest, in my circle of friends and family I am the only one that’s thinking about the environment. But I’d say my girlfriend Nikki, she has no clue what I’m doing (she’s a surgeon) but she’s always willing to hear my stories (and pretend she understands) and she’s proud of the things I’ve achieved.

Market footprint 3Q 2020 09.10.2020

Greetings!
 
We hope all is well.
 
Autumn has begun and this means peak season in solar energy industry. Due to COVID pandemic a lot of projects have been postponed and we are experiencing very busy season now: we are running now 14 projects in paralel!
 
At the beginning of 2020 Bloomberg New Energy Finance warned cut its global solar demand forecast for 2020 by 8% – from 121-152GW to 108-143GW, saying “this could make 2020 the first down year for solar capacity addition since at least the 1980s”.
No cuts in our case at least!
 
We are pleased to have a professional team that does a great job.
 
Last quarter we got completed over 328 MWp in recent 35 months, still growing rapidly. Details you can see – as every quarter – in our Market footprint.
 
Feel free to send us an inquiry of our services!  We are looking forward to further cooperation.

Kind regards

Greenbuddies tips – September 2020 23.09.2020

Outlook of electric mobility in EU after COVID-19 crisis

No doubt the current Corona virus pandemic hit hard the automanufacturing industry and made the global sales plunge rapidly in comparison with the pre-pandemic times. And so many emobility experts may ask themselves to what degree the production of EV’s shall copy the same disruptive trends like in the manufcturing of combustion-engine cars. Some prominent consultancies have investigated the emerging trends and came up with an interesting finding: The EV is very likely to see a relatively quick rebound and strong growth, particularly in China and the EU. Why? Following are the key areas which will influence comparative development of EV market vs. Internal Combustion Engines (ICE):

  • Macroeconomic environment – despite the pandemic-driven drop in oil prices, EV’s will retain lower costs of ownership
  • Government policies and regulation – strict CO2 emission limits imposed by the EU force OEM’s to focus on manufacturing fuel-efficient vehicles, aka EV’s and PHEV’s. Similarly, government incentives such as subsidies for EV purchases boost sales of EV’s. For instance in Germany purchase subsidies may amount more than € 8 thousand per vehicle.
  • Technology & infrastructure – several governments are investing in charging infrastructure as part of their national economy aid programs
  • EV offerings – whereas the pandemic has shut down many plants and assembly lines, some OEM’s (mainly in the EU) are putting priority on EV production to cope with CO2
  • Consumer demand – in many countries demand for EV’s has remained stable in contrast with ICE segment, therefore share of EV’s has risen. As one of the consequences we may observe a tangible shift in favour of an on-line sales model compared to traditional car dealerships.

In spite of Corona crisis, European leaders have stuck to a stringent fleetwide CO2 target of 95 g of CO2 per km by 2021. Many European OEM’s have committed to meeting the target and rolled out a number of battery-powered EV‘s and PHEV’s, by some counts there have been 42 new model introductions in the first quarter 2020 alone.
European governments have instituted new purchase subsidies, tax breaks, etc. to beef up EV adoption and promote pollution-free mobility.
Overall, European EV sales may potentially increase from 600 thousand in 2019 to 2,0-2,9 million in 2022. EV market share is also increasing, it rose from 3% in 2019 to 7% by June 2020. By 2022 it may be expected that EV’s may have a 12-15 market share.

So if the current trends persist, emobility could emerge from the crisis even stronger than it was estimated prior to COVID-19 turmoil.

 

EPC opportunities for Greenbuddies Charging

We are proud to announce that Greenbuddies Charging has stepped into an EPC delivery of EV charging infrastructure this year.

Although we cannot yet disclose the location and client, however in general – in one of our target countries – we were mandated to deliver a set of carports which are equipped with several charging poles. The system will be ready for additional installation of power storage. It is reassuring that very similar mid- to large-size opportunities for the same type of Clientele can be envisaged increasingly more often.
Our Client for this kind of job comes from the field of tourist/entertainment area and you can easily imagine that currently this segment works under strong COVID pressure. The Client believes, however, that this type of project will attract to their premises existing and new customers who would spend a day or half a day in the location and would appreciate the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles. We believe this first reference project may prove to pave the the way to other clients from this sector in the same region and in other countries.

As regards the technical solution we have decided to use the proven technology of a premium German carport manufacturer PMT that is considered to be a leading player in the carport structure industry. The PV plant consists of more than 3.950 pieces of HT SAAE 380 Wp panels, the DC inverting is provided by Huawei invertors. In terms of the chargers themselves we will apply Greenbuddies branded OEM produced in EU delivering 11 kW AC output. After commissioning we will be together with the Client carefully following the energy balance reports and once there is a clear business rationale the energy storage solution will be proposed to the Investor and when approved then connected within the system.
We are looking forward to complete the project and then to share with you real life pictures from the individual implementation stages.

 

For higher safety

The EN 62446 standard for photovoltaics was last updated in 2018. In addition, Dutch insurance companies came up with the Scope 12 initiative this year, which consists of a set of rules and measures to ensure greater safety in the operation of photovoltaic roof installations and thus reduce the risk of fires. The technical standards affect not only the project documentation, but also the assembly and electrical installation of the PV plant itself. One of our regular activities leading to the highest quality of installations is also regular training of our assembly teams. This year we focused on the following topics:

Connectors and suitable tools

Did you know that most PV plant fires are caused by incorrect connectors and their improper installation? It is still common practice to find “MC4” connectors on PV plants with a voltage level of 1500 V DC, which are only tested up to 1000 V DC. It should be noted that the connectors are the only place where the DC wiring on the construction site is interfered with, and therefore due attention must be paid to them. Stäubli, formerly Multi Contact, is the only manufacturer of original MC4 connectors. A common mistake is to connect the original Stäubli MC4 connector with the visually “same” name, eg QC4. Although at first glance it seems that these two connectors can be freely combined in the circuit, the opposite is true. The connection of male and female from different manufacturers is prohibited by the PV standard in order to prevent overheating, short circuit and subsequent fire of the DC installation. A professional installation company has a case with crimping pliers with approved jaws for a given type of connector, such as MC4, MC4 Evo2 or Amphenol. These connector sets are supplied, for example, by Stäubli, Knipex or Rennsteig.

 Flying panels or achieving the right tightening torque

Did you know that each manufacturer of the mounting system and modules (does not) state different values ​​for the tightening torque of the modules clamps? The task of the project manager is to ensure that the assembly team knows how much Nm the module clamps need to be tightened. Find out whether your supplier of substructure states these values ​​in the installation instructions. If the manufacturer is not able to supply these values, then I would seriously ask how confidently you feel that the panels will not fly during the first storm. In the Netherlands, insurance companies send independent experts to the roof before concluding insurance on the rooftop PV plant, who check that the facts comply with the manual. We have purchased an accurate and reliable Japanese Tohnichi torque wrench for torque control, which works in the range of 3 to 25 Nm. Using this calibrated wrench, we check the actual tightening torque of the panel clamps on the roofs before handing over the project to the customer. How do your subcontractors ensure the correct installation of the modules? If you are in doubt, feel free to contact us and we will inspect your rooftop PV plant for you. If no defects are found out, then this quality check would be free of charge for you.

Assembly team with their head Jiří Holouš

Greenbuddies tips – August 2020 24.08.2020

Source: Volkswagen AG and www.spotlightmetal.com

Holland – Electromobility Promised Land

The Netherlands undoubtedly belongs to the elite group of most developed electromobility markets in Europe. It is remarkable how electromobility swiftly ramped up in Dutch market in the last few years. Let’s have a look at some figures as they changed throughout the years:

Until December 2015, the Netherlands had the world’s fourth largest light-duty plug-in vehicle stock after the U.S., China and Japan, and also had the largest fleet light-duty plug-in vehicles in Europe. Sales in the Dutch plug-in market fell sharply during 2016 after changes in the tax rules that went into force at the beginning of 2016. Sales during the first half of 2016 were down 64% from the same period in 2015. By early October 2016, the Netherlands listed as the third largest European plug-in market, after being surpassed by both Norway and France, and in the global ranking fell from fourth to sixth place. The stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands achieved the 100,000 unit milestone in November 2016.
Typical for the Dutch plug-in market until 2016 was the dominance of plug-in hybrid cars, which represented 80.8% of the country’s stock of passenger plug-in electric cars and vans registered at the end of December 2017. The shift to focus incentives on battery electric vehicles took place in the wake of the tax rule changes in 2016 after it became clear that far too many users occasionally charged their plug-in hybrids and the sheer tax benefit was the only motivation for their purchase.
As of 31 March 2020, there were 218,501 highway-legal light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands, consisting of 116,148 pure electric cars, 97,553 plug-in hybrids, and 4,800 all-electric light utility vans. When buses (866), trucks (140), motorcycles (812), quadricycles and tricycles (1,446) are accounted for, the Dutch plug-in fleet in use climbs to 221,765 units.
Also in terms of charging infrastructure The Netherlands occupies top-notch positions in global comparison as it relates to ratio of charging points to electric vehicles, outpacing such markets as for instance the US.
The Dutch government has in spring this year confirmed the planned purchase subsidies for privately used e-cars, including secondhand electric cars. Thus the Netherlands is among the first countries in Europe to introduce a subsidy for the purchase or leasing of used electric cars.
Drivers who want to purchase an electric vehicle in the Netherlands were prompted by a subsidy of 4.000 Euros for the EV’s with a list price between between 12- 45 thousand Euros and a minimum range of 120 km. The new subsidy system also included a bonus of 2.000 Euros for used electric cars. The subsidy of 4,000 euros for the purchase of new electric cars and 2,000 euros for used electric vehicles could have been applied from 1 July (also retroactively to purchases made after 4 June 2020).To prevent misuse, the subsidy is only available when buying or leasing through an approved dealer.
It comes as no surprise that the planned budget of ten million euros was allocated after only eight days after applications opened on 1 July, as the subsidy was awarded on a “first come, first served” basis.
Since the purchase prices for e-cars will decrease in the long run, it is expected that the subsidy amount for new cars will also decrease in the coming years, while the 2,000 euros for used cars should remain at that level.
When we think about the high degree of maturity of the Dutch market with electromobility, it is interesting to ask the question of why people in the Netherlands buy electric cars. According to the report published recently by CleanTechnica, the responses are pretty similar across countries. The largest portion of buyers referenced the environmental benefits, in the Netherlands the second most frequent reason was that they loved new tech, followed closely by the smooth & quiet drive and the fun & convenience of EV life.
People in Holland love their electric cars as you can tell from the sheer number of EV’s on the roads and in the streets of their cities. Affection that surely is going to last for many years to come!

Use of a recultivated landfill for a photovoltaic power plant

Photovoltaics is an often declining and rapidly developing field, its development is not only connected with the improvement of solar panel technology, but new types of structures are also constantly being developed for their installation. When developing new solar panels, the emphasis is mainly on the price, which decreases every year, and at the same time the percentage of their recyclability increases.
Emphasis is placed on the generality of their use in the field, ease of installation and price. Not only this rapid development of efficient conversion of solar energy into electrical offers variability in this field. A great variety of applications can also be found in underconstruction systems. It is not new that solar power plants are built on fields, roofs or, for example, water surfaces in the form of floating power plants. But even in this field, various solutions can be cleverly combined, and just such a combination was used by our client in the north-east of the Netherlands, who asked us to build a solar power plant with an output of about 7 MW at a recultivated landfill.
The Bovenveld project, within which the above-mentioned construction is underway, began on 15 July 2020 at the request of ProfiNRG. Such a specific project also required specific solutions, where the geomembrane isolating the landfill, which is located under a small layer of soil, should not be disturbed. For this reason were used in this project two types of construction with the foundation, which does not extend deep below the ground level. As the first structure anchoring system was used TreeSystem, which got its name for similarity of its anchoring systems to tree roots, which can fix the structure in a small depth.

Source: www.treesystem.it

This technology offer low installation depth of anchoring systems between 45 – 60 cm underground hand by hand with the acquisition of sufficient safety and does not require excavation work or foundation with concrete. This speeds up the installation as well as the removal of the structure at the end of its service life. It is used not only at power plants in landfills or quarries, but also on steep slopes, where the installation of conventional underconstruction systems would be difficult, as well as in archaeological sites, where is minimal damage of the substrate requested. The power of the plant founded by this system in the Bovenveld project is 4.7 MW.
The second type of construction used on this site is SunBeam, which is used for photovoltaic systems located on flat roofs. This use was an alternative to the specific requirements of this project, as in fact almost the only use of this system is for roof structures.
An important factor that affects the possibility of using the SunBeam system is to obtain a flat solid surface on which the structure is anchored only with weights (ballast). In this part, there was no disruption of the soil, which was in a very thin layer (30 cm) on the geomembrane insulating the landfill. The SunBeam system was chosen for its good functional properties, easy and fast installation, which reduced the time required for construction. By using this system was built 2.3 MW.
We captured the current state of the construction with a drone for you. We expect that our teams will complete this project till October and we will inform you about the final result in our news.

Author: Peter Bats and Tommhy Cuadros

Aerocompact practical training goes far beyond the counting of manhours of installation

The basic purpose of the mounting system for photovoltaic modules is to ensure safe operation of the system with minimal maintenance. The safety of mounting throughout the life of the PV generator is a crucial component.

How to achieve a safe installation?

The first step is a suitably chosen mounting system for fixing the panels in our case to a flat roof. The most common mistake in calculating of the distribution and weight of the load is to omit the slope of the flat roof, even though it has a slope of only few degrees. Furthermore, when the friction of the roof covering surface or foil is not measured by a special device. In addition to calculating the weight and distribution of the concrete load (usually concrete tiles), both of these parameters also serve to determine whether the entire blocks of panels may shift due to the different thermal expansion of the materials used and the slippery roof surface. Oversized ballast (load) can lead to unnecessary loading of the roof structure and higher costs for material purchase, handling, and installation. Conversely, insufficient, and poorly distributed loads can cause a shift of block of panels or blow out due to strong wind or storm. Prior to laying the panels, make sure that the load distribution corresponds to the installation drawings of the mounting system supplier. The insurance company will verify this figure among the first facts in the event of an insured event. The second important thing is the tightening of all bolts connections and especially the panel clamps to the tightening torque resulting from the assembly instructions of the construction manufacturer and the panel manufacturer. That your subcontractor does not provide this information? Consider whether it is trustworthy, and its system is secure for the application and area.
We practically mastered all these and many other important steps during a three-hour field training. The training was led by an experienced engineer Nico Baggen from Aerocompact on June 12 in the Dutch city of Arnhem. We chose the location deliberately, because we are currently building over 7 MW of rooftop PV installations in the vicinity. We also wanted to take advantage of the fact that the experienced masters of our assembly teams work nearby, and we were able to meet all at once and exchange experiences.

Price is not the only criterion

Do you know the value of losing a good name and losing a client due to savings in the wrong place?
Do you know if the insurance company will not refuse to insure the rooftop PV plant in time, because it does not correspond, for example, to Scope 12 in the Netherlands, and what additional costs will be involved?
When choosing a suitable assembly system, we recommend comparing not only the price of “hardware” per kWp, the assembling cost, but also whether the system was tested in a wind tunnel, whether it has the necessary certificates and tests for the area, whether all components used meet required service life, what material the structure is made of and how resistant it is to corrosion, e.g. near the sea, if the solution design took into account all parameters such as friction of the roof, roof pitch, building height (some systems work safely only up to 25 m building height) etc.

Source: www.aerocompact.com

Greenbuddies tips – July 2020 21.07.2020

Electromobility in Austria

In this issue of our Newsletter we continue to map our key target markets. Today I shall bring some basic facts on the country of our southern neighbours – Austria.

Electric mobility initiates a turnaround in mobility and paves way to cleaner transport of the future. The key words are range, infrastructure and price. Most electric vehicles cruising the roads of our neighbours are fast-charging. In Austria there are already over 5,000 charging points and a quick charging station every 60 km. And the price? There are grants and special leasing and rental models for the BEV (battery electric vehicle).
Since July 1st, 2020, there have been new premiums valid throughout Austria for the purchase of electric vehicles. The purchase of an electric car (BEV) or a car with a fuel cell (FCEV) is funded with a total of 5,000 euros (2,000 euros for automobile importers + 3,000 euros for Ministry of Environment, Energy and Transport, BMK) per vehicle. For plug-in hybrids (PHEV) [except diesel plug-in] and range extenders (REX, REEV), there is a total of 2,500 euros (1,250 euros for automobile importers + 1,250 euros for BMK).

The total number of electric vehicles (including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles) in Austria was around 51,300 in 2019. The majority of these are now purely electric cars; in 2019 there were around 29,500 passenger cars with electric drives in Austria. The proportion of cars with electric drives rose to around 0,59 percent of the total number of passenger cars.

A similar development can be observed in other vehicle classes. The stock of electric trucks has been growing steadily since 2010, but the growth took place almost exclusively in the class up to 3,5 tons total weight (vehicle class N1). In 2019, around 2,600 electric delivery vans were approved for road traffic in Austria. A steady increase can also be observed in vehicle class L (motorbikes / trikes / quadricyles). The number of buses with electric drives, on the other hand, developed inconsistently. The number of new registrations of electric vehicles (including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles) reached a new high in 2019, for the first time over 14,300 electric vehicles were newly registered. Over 74 percent of new registrations of purely electric vehicles were passenger cars in 2019, and a total of around 9,200 electric cars were registered for the first time. The share of new car registrations was 2.81 percent. The best-selling electric car was Tesla’s Model 3 in 2019. Around 5,000 charging stations for electric cars are available in Austria. Most were installed in Lower Austria, in Vienna the number of charging stations is 831. If all vehicles are operated with an electric motor, an additional electricity requirement of around 20 terawatt hours per year in Austria would be required.

Austria uses various measures to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles. These include financial support and tax exemptions. At the federal level, there was a program worth EUR 72 million to support electric two-wheelers and cars in 2017 and 2018. The establishment of charging infrastructure was also supported. A similar program was launched for 2019 and 2020, this time totaling EUR 93 million. Further funding is available at the levels of the federal states and municipalities.

Well, I’m not sure what you think – there’s still a long way for Austrians to go to reach mature emobility in their country. Yet I believe they could set a good example for the Czech government which has so far been pretending this topic does not exist.

Graph 1: Publicly accesible charging points in Austria. Source: Federal Ministry Republic of Austria: Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. AustriaTech. January 2020. Link: www.bmk.gv.at

Pricing electricity process

In this last part of our tech series we will touch on the following complex topic – the electric part of a PV project and its pricing.
The electrical elements of a project can be divided into the following categories:

  • engineering and project design
  • installation of DC
  • installation of AC
  • connection to the grid
  • purchasing of components

Let’s see how the process of pricing may differ from case to case.
There is a significant difference in pricing a project for a smaller entity and a large solar company with expert professional background. The smaller clients are often also new in the field.
Although the most common scope to be priced is a complete delivery of the system (smaller companies say: “give us a price of a complete DC side of installation”), it is very important to clarify what shall be included in our delivery and what has the customer managed on his own, i.e. to agree on a clear scope. Otherwise the client may start comparing “apples and oranges” and some substantial part is forgotten by both parties. This always leads to misunderstandings. The importance of a clear scoping document is crystal clear in the case of an incomplete project documentation or lacking permission for connecting the powerplant to the grid etc. In this sense the large and established solar players typically provide detailed documentation and well-specified requirements. Although we like it as it brings more specific results, it has certain drawbacks, especially that the decision-making process is a bit more complex and can take several months.
Not only does the size of the client’s company make a difference in specification of requirements and then the pricing of the projects, there are also specifications and requirements that differ country to country. As an example, many German companies are using a standardized, structured document called “Leistungverzeichnis” (LV) where all the requested items and the components including their exact amount are all specified. Dutch clients vary in the form of the RFQ which is company-specific, supported by drawing and other specific documents. Though the LV may look difficult at first sight, the work with the LV is smooth once you process the first one. The possible disadvantage of the LV RFQ is that it might not contain all the items necessary to deliver a complete PV plan. Then these costs ( e.g. machinery amounting to tens of thousands of EURO) need to be “dissolved” within the other items and this could possibly distort the comparison among competitors.

 

Presenting GB team

Starting in 2017, Ales Spacil and Ondrej Vodslon were doing everything in the company, the only one who was helping was Ondrej’s wife: she is Italian and was cooking fantastic pasta …

Now, years after this we have a structured but lean company where we have all the functions to provide our services to the clients with the right quality.

We believe that it is important for you to understand what everyones responsibility.
Ales Spacil, Ondrej Vodslon and Ales Damm (for EV Charging LOB) are certainly end-responsible persons throughout the entire process of customer satisfaction. Their division of roles is that Aleš Spáčil is responsible for Sales, Marketing, Human Resources. Ondrej is responsible for Finance, Delivery & Engineering and they share responsibility over Purchasing. Aleš Damm is responsible for all functions of Greenbuddies Charging.
Lets look at who is  doing what within the team:
Once the business is developed, once the opportunity comes to Aleš’s table Dan (primarily for Germany) and Tomáš (primarily for the Netherlands) or Šárka (for EV charging projects) take the lead and prepare the offer. As a Sales support team they also develop independent marketing activities to target the market. Denisa is an assistant to the sales team with an important marketing responsibility in organising events, updating online presence and also generating these newsletters and our quarterly reference packs distributed to the clients.

Liběna (Líba) and Marek are purchasers who support in this phase the offer by tendering most interesting offers for cables, understructures, panels etc. Purchasing than also supports the actual construction phase by finding the best suitable work teams and fixing the right price of the components. Their job includes also logistics and delivery of the component on site.

Construction phase is managed by the Project managers: they are currently 3. Marcel, head of the Project managers, Honza (Jan) and Tommhy. Their role is to bring the project thru all the hurdles of installation to the commissioning phase, it is crucial that the project manager sets a superb relations with the client but keeps also good working relations with the site manager. He needs to translate the wishes of the client to a manageable solution. Project manager is moving from one site to another and although he does not stay there for the whole period of construction he is the main tool for driving the quality of the installation.
Within the finance area Ondrej works mainly on his own. However he is supported by Veronika who also keeps an eye on that the office works well is clean and nice and people feel well.

So – this is Greenbuddies in Prague.

Apart from that we could not achieve such results if we didn’t work with local professionals. In the Netherlands we have stable working relations with Jos who is well connected across the whole country and is able to mediate and “translate” between different business practices in our country and the Netherlands. Similarly, in Austria we are working together with local sales & servicing network helping us with Austrian-specific business aspects. In Germany we are in process of establishing such a position which is in principle very helpful in the area of customer satisfaction.

Market footprint 2Q 2020 08.07.2020

 

Greetings!

I hope things are going well!

We would like to share some news with you. Even though we have gone through the difficult Covid Time we can proudly say that we have succeeded and are still doing very well.

Greenbuddies delivered dozens of MWp in western Europe – Germany, Netherlands as well as also in Malta and presently even in Armenia!

Today, we are happy to say we already got completed over 298 MWp in recent 2,5 years and are still growing day by day. Details you can see – as every quarter – in our Market footprint.

If you have any project where we can be of help to you, don’t hesitate to send us an RFQ for the projects. We would be pleased to prepare an offer for you and we are looking forward to continuing our cooperation!

Best Regards

Greenbuddies tips – June 2020 22.06.2020

Electromobility in Germany

Germany without doubt has the largest e-mobility market potential in continental Europe. Therefore, it is of extreme interest to look at the current status and the plans of the German government to support the expected growth of electric vehicles in the coming decade.
As per Federal Government plans, a total of one million charging stations are to be available by 2030. The German government will promote the development of a network of public charging stations by 2025, and produce a master plan for the charging station infrastructure. It will make it mandatory for all petrol stations in Germany to provide charging stations. And more charging stations are to be installed on customer parking lots. Most charging will, however, take place at home or at the workplace. To this end, new legal provisions regarding the installation of charging infrastructure are being adopted to make landlords tolerate the installation of charging infrastructure on their properties.

Encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles

The premium scheme for people buying electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles is to be continued and extended to cover the purchase of vehicles costing less than 40,000 euros. The aim of the German government is to have between 7 and 10 million electric vehicles registered in Germany by 2030. First-time-registrations and retrofitted electric vehicles will initially pay no vehicle tax. This regulation is to be extended until 31 December 2025. Tax breaks for electric company vehicles are also to remain in place, with particularly attractive conditions for purely electric vehicles (up to a purchase price of 40,000 euros).
A premium scheme for the purchase of utility vehicles using alternative engine technology is planned to be introduced as of this year.

Consistent CO2-based reform of vehicle tax

The German government will gear vehicle tax more closely to the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and to this end produce a bill to reform vehicle tax for passenger cars. For vehicles registered for the first time as of 1 January 2021 tax will be calculated primarily on the basis of CO2 emissions per kilometre, and gradually increased above the level of 95 gCO2/km.
After the energy sector and industry the transport sector is the third largest producer of CO2 emissions, accounting for almost 19 per cent of the total. The vast majority of emissions in this sector come from road traffic. Private cars with internal combustion engines are responsible for just under 61 per cent of this. Since 1990 transport-related CO2 emissions have not decreased. Although vehicle technology has become more energy efficient, there are far more vehicles on the road than there were 30 years ago – 71 per cent more heavy goods traffic and 31 per cent more private cars. In Germany some 45 million private cars are registered. If the country is to achieve projected climate targets, more vehicles will have to become more efficient, and more climate-friendly.

A key question: will the power grid withstand the e-car boom?

Cars in Germany drive an average of 13,800 kilometers a year – a total of 621 billion kilometers.
Based on the amount of energy that an average electric car needs today under real conditions, it is easy to calculate how much electricity fully e-mobile Germans would consume: 105 terawatt hours (TWh), around 15 percent of the amount of electricity produced today.
No piece of cake, certainly; but with this additional need, the power supply would certainly not collapse. Almost half of the energy required is already being generated today. It’s just not needed at home. Germany sold 48 TWh of electricity abroad.
The country also has additional reserves, for example in the form of gas power plants. They are hardly used at the moment because green electricity has priority when feeding them into the grid, but they can be reactivated at any time. Contrary to many concerns, electricity would therefore be sufficiently available. The only question is: how much is it worth to drivers – and does it get exactly where it is needed at the right time? With the likes of charging electric cars on street lights overnight and similar technologies is hopefully the answer positive.
Without a question there are still many challenges to overcome on this long and winding road to mature e-mobile Germany. However, the pragmatic approach and proverbial commitment to carbon-free transport of tomorrow exhibited by the Federal Government on many occassions makes us believe that the biggest European economy will eventually succeed despite its somewhat slow start…

Ground-mounted or rooftop installation. Why is the price not the same?

Today we will look closer at an interesting topic: what is the difference between pricing rooftop installation and a ground-mounted power plant? And what are the differences between various kinds of rooftops?
The ground-mounted installations were already described in the last newsletter. Recently, it is harder and harder to find a suitable land for building photovoltaic installation. The solution may be the rooftop installation. In compare to building a photovoltaic on a agriculture field it’s better from the enviromental point of view and be practical – its a free space, which can be used for generating elektricity and have usually already prepared some infrastructure. Lets have a look on its the pricing!
When speaking about photovoltaic roof installation, first we need to think of the safety of our workers. And so our first questions before starting pricing are following: How will the workers’ safety be secured? How will the access to the roof be solved? Is there enough space around the building for lifting the materials to the roof? Only after answering these questions can we move to finding out the rest of the technical details. The most important fact is whether the roof is flat or sloping? And from which kind of material is the roof cover made? That pretty much defines the type of substructure which will be installed. Using some sophisticated subconstruction for a flat roof, or using the hanger bolts is approximately twice as time-consuming as using the minirails system on simply trapezoidal roof cover.
Rooftop installation is also more demanding in comparison to ground installation in other technical aspects. For example in the case of roofs, no cable under the modules can touch the roof (when it is raining, the cable would be in touch with water). The modules need to be connected to the invertors, which are usually at the bottom of the building. It means that the cables are laid in cabletrays for tens of meters between the roof and the invertor room. They must often be protected through fire insulation equipment.
Frankly speaking about rooftop installation prices, they are in generall higher than ground installation. The main reasons are: Safety of workers, more demanding technical requirements, harder distribution of material on roof itself.

Presenting a new members of GB team

Greenbuddies is growing and learning organisation. We need more and more skilled people to deliver excellence to our clients. We are proud that within a few previous months our team increased by 3 valuable members:

Liběna (Líba) – the Purchasing manager

Greenbuddies: Tell me how you first got involved with Greenbuddies.
Líba: When I do my work I always want to know that what I’m doing has a meaning. I have always been interested in alternative energy sources and mostly in renewable energy and a healthy approach to nature. When I found out that the company Greenbuddies was looking for a new employee in the sales department I didn’t think twice before calling in. After my first interview I was praying I would get selected.
Greenbuddies: What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about Renewables/Solar industry?
Líba: I like the Dutch way: they are building FVE’s on roofs, parking spaces and greenhouses. The idea of building FVE’s on water by using bifacial solar panels is also interesting. Personally I would like to have solar panels on my roof.
Greenbuddies: If you wasn’t in Greenbuddies, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
Líba: If I wasn’t a part of Greenbuddies, I would like to be a part of Greenbuddies. 😊
Greenbuddies: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Líba: I like to paint, I play the clarinet and the saxophone.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Líba: I ride motorcycles and I’m building my own “Cafe Racer”. 😊

Denisa – sales & marketing administration

Greenbuddies: What’s the best/worst thing to happen since you started working with?
Denisa: When I started working with Greenbuddies, COVID was spreading across the whole world and I found myself working from home for 5 weeks. I don’t know exactly if that’s the best or the worst thing. But I was in touch with our team every day and we managed to make it through. Thank God for the internet! 😊
Greenbuddies: When your friends/family found out that you work in the Solar industry/Renewables, what did they say or ask?
Denisa: My family enthusiastically asked me: „Wow! We would like some solar panels on the roof of our house. Would you arrange it for us including the subsidy?“ 😀
Greenbuddies: How would (someone) describe you?
Denisa: Someone said: „Exact the best teams are comprised of a specialist and multipotencialist worked together. The specialist can dive in deep and implement ideas, but the multipotentialist brings a breath of knowledge to the project. It is a beautiful partnership.“ I´m so glad for our Greenbuddies team where I can be good support for the best specialists.
Greenbuddies: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Denisa: I’m a songwriter and I have played the guitar for 12 years.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Denisa: I walk my dog Sara – she is a German Shepherd from a shelter. And during weekends I spend my time with my husband at our cottage by the Vltava river.

Dan – sales support ( “guilty” for offer calculations)

Greenbuddies: Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Greenbuddies?
Dan: My dad who knew Aleš Spáčil and Aleš Damm from work. Actually, he was the one who put us together.
Greenbuddies: What surprised you the most about working with Greenbuddies?
Dan: When I first came in I was surprised there was no company hierarchy I was used to from my previous jobs. No manager offices. Actually, everybody was sitting together in an open space.
Greenbuddies: If you could change one thing about the Solar Industry, what would it be?
Dan: I would be glad if Czech society became more aware of the progress in the photovoltaics field and got rid of the negative approach which is primarily driven by the unfortunate subsidy program from some 10 years ago.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Dan: Riding my bike. 😊
Greenbuddies: What would you tell someone who is thinking about building a PV plant?
Dan: Ask Greenbuddies to do the job, of course. 😊

We are looking for a new Project Manager! 10.06.2020

As a part of business development, we are looking for a new enthusiastic colleague for the position of:

Project Manager – Electromobility:

Main responsibility:

  • managing the implementation of selected contracts in the field of construction of charging station infrastructure in target countries.
  • Target markets 2020-1: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, or other European countries, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Other responsibilities:

  • also include motivation, structuring and contracting of implementation units (installation companies or groups of individuals) for the implemented project, cooperation on budgeting of individual contracts, ongoing management and coordination of teams among themselves and optimization of their use with regard to knowledge and skills of members.
  • Continuous quality control of the course of implementation and to communicate the implementation of the construction with a foreign client within the limits of the concluded contractual relationship. As part of this communication, you will ensure the working conditions of the teams, technical and administrative documents and, if necessary, will recover payments from a foreign client. The content will include cooperation in the purchase of small materials or large components.
  • Final evaluation of the contract in terms of material and financial assessment.

The project manager may also be requested to perform other tasks related to the fulfillment of the economic objectives of Greenbuddies Charging, s.r.o.

What experience and qualities you should have:

  • 3 years of managerial experience in construction and electrical (including the construction of photovoltaic power plants or energy storage systems)
  • Experience in using programs for the preparation of project plans (EasyProject, etc.) and the ability to compile a project budget
  • Willingness to travel and work in a young start-up environment
  • Independence, creativity, own initiative, willingness to work on oneself
  • Experience in indirectly managed teams an advantage
  • Experience in the field of charging infrastructure for electromobility or energy storage is a major advantage as well as experience in the construction of renewable sources

What education should you have:

  • Technical education (eg construction, engineering or electrical)
  • Economic education or practical experience at the level of project budgeting, reporting and controlling
  • German verbally and in writing, English

What we can offer to you:

  • Work in a field that has the potential for rapid growth for the next few years
  • Excellent perspective of further professional development and progress in the company
  • Maximum support for colleagues during the initial phase of integration and orientation in the issue
  • Dynamic corporate culture of a smaller private company
  • The opportunity to really influence what is happening in society
  • Basic salary 45-55 thousand CZK depending on experience and qualifications
  • Variable components of wages in the form of percentages of profit

Contact:

Greenbuddies Charging, s.r.o.
Contact person: Aleš Damm
Email: ales.damm@greenbuddies.eu
Cell phone: +420 732 442 333
www.greenbuddies.eu

 

 

Greenbuddies tips – May 2020 31.05.2020

 I want to build a PV park: Quote me the price for  1 MW till tomorrow

In short,  this is the most common demand we receive on an everyday basis. In this short 4 part article series I would like to explore how an offer for the client is prepared and what tasks it contains. Today we start with ground mounting – general conditions, UK and modules, and in the next articles we will focus on roofs and then on DC and AC parts.

Speaking about ground projects, first of all we need to know the following info: where is the location? Secondly, we ask how far the preparations for development are. Has the client already asked for the construction permission, has the client already prepared the budget? Do we have some preliminary plans? Have the soil tests already been done? Is there good access to the ground? We can start to prepare the first steps based on the answers to these questions: to propose preliminary layout to find out if the space is sufficient; which modules are best to use – bigger or smaller?

Since the modules are the biggest part of the budget every penny counts. What is the best quality x price ratio? How are the modules delivered on the site? To the Harbor? Are the duties and taxes paid by the seller or the buyer? Which construction will be the best option with respect to the soil report and shall the modules be placed horizontally or vertically? This affects how the stringing will be done and how much cable will be needed. Also the orientation of the modules affects the production, because of the shading. The construction is usually rammed, but sometimes this is not possible. Then the predrill is needed and the post must be concreted. The particular dimensions and different solutions from different producers also affect how time consuming the mounting itself will be. I may have saved a little bit on material, but if the workers need twice as much time to build it, then I haven’t saved a dime.
Therefore it is always necessary to clear all the questions at the beginning so that we can propose and deliver the best solution that best meets the customers’ expectations. If the customer is happy, then we can all be satisfied with our work, and it gives you the energy to do your job with joy.

(more…)

Market footprint 1Q 2020 19.04.2020

 

Greetings!
 
first of all let us wish you to stay safe and sane in this difficult time of life.
 
First quarter of 2020 was exactly on the planned volumes for us and despite of harsh environment we are absolutelly commited to be this year better than last year – from quality and also volumes point of view.
 
In Q1 we have added around 20 MW to our overal track record and some large, long term projects are in construction phase with target for completion in Q2. Details you can see – as every quarter – in our Market footprint.
 
Czech republic – home of most of our workers is in tough COVID lockdown and easy crossborder traffic is gone for some time. Nevertheless we have now about 120 people in Netherlands (75), Germany (32) and some of them at our second freefield installation in Malta.
 
Come to us and ask for a quote of our services! We are looking forward to again more healthy and open Europe  in order to boost our joined renewables efforts!
 
Best Regards